For those of you who don't already know, I have a long standing battle with Route 287 in New Jersey. It's awful. I hate it. I would blow it up if given the chance. But this post is not about me complaining to you about my harrowing daily commute (I'll save that for another day). It's more to point out a few safety issues I've noticed lately. Two weeks ago I was on my way home when I looked up and saw a new billboard had gone up. In huge red paint was scrawled the message "Kelly, will you marry me?" and then right underneath it was - HOLY SHIT - a man holding a paint brush! Now at this point I may have had a William Shatner "There's a man on the wing!" Twilight Zone type moment and almost veered off the road. Thankfully this was one of my late nights at work and the highway was actually empty for once. And of course after I regained control of my (husband's) car I realized that there was not actually a REAL man up on that billboard. Clearly it was all part of the ad, which it turns out was for a jewelery store. On one hand I have to give this company props. I mean obviously the billboard grabbed my attention. But on the other hand, is an already dangerous highway really the place you want to be going for shock value? Now granted, I am REALLY gullible (topped off with a smidge of airy). I have been thrown more surprise birthday parties (where I was actually surprised) then would seem reasonably possible. And one time on a road trip I saw a car hitched to the back of an RV on the highway and totally wigged out because, "Oh my god! No one is driving that car!" However, I am by far not even the most gullible and airy person I know. So it seems reasonable to believe that there are many others who might react similarly to this ad.
And this isn't the only distraction I've encountered on 287. Probably about a year ago they added a giant electronic billboard. Every few seconds the screen changes and a new ad comes up. Occasionally I find myself lingering an extra moment on the "Wanted" posters for bank robbers and what not (you know just in case it turns out to be one of my neighbors or something). But in general it's no "Kelly, will you marry me." That is except for last March when someone had the bright idea to broadcast the NCAA tournament scores on said billboards. Seriously? Do you know what seeing that one of your Final Four is about to be taken out in a huge upset can do to a person? They're lucky more people didn't intentionally drive themselves into a ditch. Or perhaps someone was trying to set up the world record for most cars involved in a freeway pile. I mean use some freaking common sense. Picture if you will...It's March in NJ. Which means people are barely over the bitter disappointment of the Jets blowing another shot at the Super Bowl, they've spent the last 3 months shoveling the snow out of your driveway and now they are seeing their brackets implode in grand fashion on the side of the roadway. Is a moving vehicle really where you want these people when they finally snap? That's what I thought. So let's be a little more careful with how we handle our roadway advertisements from here on out.
And P.S. Kelly, don't say yes for anything less then one and a quarter carats!